A free, cutting-edge 3D movie-making application is allowing would-be directors to create their own professional-looking animated masterpieces in minutes...
Muvizu (pronounced 'Movie Zoo') lets users direct pre-rendered characters - who lip-sync to any imported dialogue - then run, jump, and even fight their way around pre-built sets, on command.
Characters are animated with a simplified set of commands allowing users to generate comedy sketches, corporate product demonstrations, or mini-movies in resolutions up to HD quality.
All that's needed is a PC (or Mac) running Windows XP, Vista, or Win 7, a broadband connection for registration and uploading, and a modern 3D graphics card.
The revolutionary program was the brainchild of the animation and software teams at Digimania Ltd, and its founder Matthew Karas, who was the architect of the BBC News website.
Vince Ryan, Managing Director of Digimania, who also had a hand in online history as an architect of The Daily Telegraph website, one of the world's first major news sites, says Muvizu's beauty is in its simplicity....
Muvizu's website offers basic tutorial videos to get users up and running, as well as advanced guides for creatives to push the software's boundaries and build their own Toy Story or Shrek.
The site also offers discussion forums hosted by the software's developers in case users need assistance; and collaboration options so teams of designers can work on the same video together.
Muvizu brings out new pre-rendered characters and sets every few weeks, and is currently working on adding post-processing effects. The next release will come out in June.